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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: January 2018

Guardian US Receives Grant To Expand Coverage Of The Threat To America’s Public Lands

  • New grant to theguardian.org from the Society for Environmental Journalists enables The Guardian to expand This Land is Your Land, its series on America’s public lands
  • The Guardian will partner with local publications in the West to drive high impact journalism

Press Release – Guardian US today announced that it will expand coverage of the growing threat to America’s public lands with new support made possible by funding of $340,000 over the next two years from the Society for Environmental Journalists. As part of the expansion, The Guardian will collaborate with local publishing partners in the Western regions most affected by the accelerating movement to roll back protections on national land.

Public lands range from celebrated national parks such as Yosemite and the Everglades to vast western forests and deserts, Pacific coral reefs and Atlantic seamounts. Yet the future of this unique American birthright hangs in the balance as the Trump administration and Congress take steps that could open public lands to new industrial uses and transfer federal lands to the states.

The project launches today with an investigation about how ​America’s national parks are grappling with crumbling facilities and closed trails. ​It is accompanied by an op-ed from ​Theodore Roosevelt IV, a preservationist and the great grandson of ​Theodore Roosevelt, ​the Republican president who helped conserve 230m acres for public use.

Jane Spencer, deputy editor, Guardian US said:

“Guardian readers have demonstrated extraordinary interest and support for our series This Land is Your Land. We are witnessing an unprecedented attack on America’s natural legacy—and we are grateful for this opportunity to expand and extend our coverage of public lands at this critical moment.

We won’t tackle this challenge alone. The Guardian aims to collaborate with local publications across the West to tell this story—and we believe rigorous, independent journalism will be a powerful force to drive public awareness, galvanize communities, and hold our government accountable.”

Guardian US first launched This Land is Your Land in July 2017 after noticing its readers showed exceptional engagement with stories about public lands. Guardian US then launched a successful crowdfunding appeal, raising $114,302 from readers to cover of public lands in 2017.

The project drew attention from philanthropic funders, and the new grant was made possible through the Guardian’s non-profit arm, theguardian.org. The Guardian’s reporting on public lands will remain editorially independent.

This Land is Your Land will be edited and overseen by Alastair Gee in The Guardian’s West Coast bureau.


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Hadley to Award $30,000 to Blind Entrepreneurs Whose Business Plans are Voted the Best

Press Release – JANUARY 29, 2018 — WINNETKA, IL — If you are an aspiring entrepreneur who also happens to be blind you may think that your obstacles are insurmountable. But you are not alone in this effort. Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired has practical coursework to help you develop your business and also a chance to win some cash to bring your dream to life.

As the nation’s oldest and largest provider of learning programs that empower those with vision loss to thrive at home, at work, and in their communities, Hadley has announced its 3rd annual New Venture Competition, which will award upwards of $30,000 to deserving individuals to help bring the dream of owning their own business to life.

The competition is open to legally blind U.S. residents who successfully complete at least one course from Hadley’s Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship, who will have a significant operational role, and a majority ownership in the new business.

“The purpose of the New Venture competition is to inspire our students to think more critically about their own business ideas and to practically apply the ideas learned in our courses to build a real business venture,” said Colleen Wunderlich, Director of the Forsythe Center for Employment & Entrepreneurship.

An MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Ms. Wunderlich is herself blind and has served in her current position at Hadley since 2013.

The New Venture competition is intended for new ventures in the start-up, or early growth stages of business development and which must reside within the United States.

Applicants will be required to submit a business plan no larger than 10-pages and which includes a one-page executive summary. Plans will be judged on a number of criteria, including the likelihood of achieving a viable new venture.

Entries must be submitted in either Microsoft Excel or Word formats by Thursday, March 15. Interested applicants can email FCE@hadley.edu for more information or questions. Additional information including entry forms and how submitted plans will be judged are available by visiting www.hadley.edu/FCE.

About The Forsythe Center for Employment & Entrepreneurship (FCE)

FCE offers tuition-free courses and one-lesson, online modules to help prepare visually impaired individuals for employment and entrepreneurship. Whether looking for a job, wanting a better job or interested in being your own boss, Hadley helps individuals develop the business skills needed to be successful.

Learning focuses on business-related topics, technology, self-employment, and entrepreneurship and is offered through its Adult Continuing Education Program.

Courses and modules are practical, relevant and interactive. They are designed to provide requisite computer training; relevant Social Security, tax, accounting, legal, marketing, management and communications information; and content specific to the needs and concerns of individuals who are visually impaired.

About Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The mission of Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired is to create personalized learning opportunities that empower people to thrive — at home, at work and in their communities. Hadley is the largest provider of distance education for people who are blind or visually impaired worldwide, serving more nearly 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and 100 countries. A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, we rely on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its programs. Watch our videos to learn more about our students, programs and donors. www.hadley.edu


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Safeguarding Space for Nature Symposium

How much space do we need for humans and wildlife to live side-by-side?

ZSL London Zoo – 27-28 February 2018

Press Release : Our planet is rapidly losing its remaining wild spaces and the species that call them home. In the past 40 years alone, the population abundance of vertebrate species has declined, on average, by nearly two-thirds. As part of efforts to stem this worrying decline, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have pledged to secure protection for at least 17 per cent of land and freshwater habitats alongside 10 per cent of the ocean by 2020. But is this enough, and what happens beyond this milestone date?

On 27-28 February 2018, international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) will come together with the National Geographic Society (NGS) – in partnership with BirdLife International, CBD, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) – to co-host a major symposium exploring these pressing questions at the confluence of economic development and wildlife conservation.

Bringing together international scientists, conservationists, policymakers, civil servants and funders, the two-day Safeguarding Space for Nature Symposium will set out to chart the way forward – looking beyond the CBD’s 2020 biodiversity targets towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the aspiration of a healthy planet for all its inhabitants, human and otherwise, by 2050.

The symposium will offer a packed two days of presentations, panel discussions and working groups involving a who’s-who of senior thinkers across the conservation and development sectors.

Attendance at this high-profile scientific event costs £160 for the full two days or £100 for one day only. Concessions are available for ZSL Members/Fellows and students. To find out more and register to attend, please visit: www.zsl.org/spacefornaturesymposium


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170 Million Americans Drink Radioactive Tap Water

In Texas, Trump Nominee for U.S. Environment Czar Faked Data to Hide Cancer Risk

Press Release – WASHINGTON – Drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that may increase the risk of cancer, according to an EWG investigation released today.

Radiation in tap water is a serious health threat, especially during pregnancy, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal limits for the most widespread radioactive elements are more than 40 years old. But President Trump’s nominee to be the White House environment czar rejects the need for water systems to comply even with those inadequate standards.

The most common radioactive element in American tap water is radium. EWG’s analysis of test data from almost 50,000 public water systems found that from 2010 to 2015, more than 22,000 utilities in all 50 states reported radium in the treated water delivered to customers’ taps. EWG’s interactive map shows the utilities with radium contamination and how many people were affected.

Only a small percentage of those systems exceeded the EPA’s legal limits for radium, set in 1976. But almost all exceeded California state scientists’ public health goals for two separate radium isotopes, set in 2006, which are hundreds of times more stringent than the EPA’s standard for the two isotopes combined. The elevated risk of cancer, as well as potential harm to fetal growth and brain development, decreases with lower doses of radiation but does not go away.

“Most radioactive elements in tap water come from natural sources, but that doesn’t take away the need to protect people through stronger standards and better water treatment,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s senior science advisor for children’s environmental health. “Millions of Americans are drinking water with potentially harmful levels of radioactive elements, but the outdated federal standards mean many people don’t know about the risk they face when they turn on the tap.”

California has the most residents affected by radiation in drinking water. From 2010 to 2015, about 64 percent of the state’s residents were served by public water systems that reported detectable levels of the two radium isotopes. In Texas, which has a smaller population, about 80 percent of the population was served by utilities reporting detectable levels of those elements.

But while President Trump’s nominee to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ, was Texas’s top environmental regulator, the state regularly and deliberately lowered the levels of radiation in tap water it reported to the EPA.

The nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White, admitted in a 2011 investigation by Houston’s KHOU-TV that if utility tests found radiation levels over the EPA limit, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would subtract the test’s margin of error to make it appear the water met federal standards. In some cases, this meant that Texans whose tap water posed the extraordinarily elevated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 400 were not informed of the danger.

Hartnett White told KHOU she did not trust the science behind the EPA’s standard. When pressed by a reporter – “What if you’re wrong and EPA’s right?” – she said: “It would be regrettable.”

Last month, after Hartnett White acknowledged to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that she knew the commission was cooking the books, her nomination was sent back to the White House. But on Monday the White House stubbornly renominated her.

“Putting someone in charge of CEQ who deliberately falsified data to get around federal regulations is outrageous, and the fact that her deception left people at serious risk of cancer is even more alarming,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s vice president of government affairs. “The Senate should reject this radioactive nominee.”

“With the renomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to the White House Council of Environmental Quality, President Trump is failing these 170 million at-risk Americans who are drinking contaminated water,” said Christy Goldfuss, vice president for energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress. “When Hartnett White was tasked with addressing radiation in Texas’s drinking water as a government official, she regularly and deliberately underreported the amount of radiation in drinking water, keeping families in the dark about their health and safety. Putting her in charge of the Council of Environmental Quality could do untold damage to even more Americans. With today’s data revealed, it is even more vital that our leaders and representatives prioritize clean and safe drinking water for all.”

Source: https://www.ewg.org/release/170-million-americans-drink-radioactive-tap-water#.WlbtA5Opl98


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Charles Kelley Of Lady Antebellum And Darius Rucker To Host First-Ever 2018 ACM Lifting Lives® Topgolf Tee-Off During The 6th Annual ACM Party For A Cause®

Tournament Benefitting ACM Lifting Lives® To Take Place On Saturday, April 14, 2018 At Topgolf Las Vegas At MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

Press Release – ENCINO, CA (January 25, 2018) – The Academy of Country Music® announced today that eleven-time ACM Award winner Charles Kelley of multi-platinum trio Lady Antebellum, and multi-platinum country music star Darius Rucker will host the first-ever ACM Lifting Lives® Topgolf Tee-Off on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Topgolf Las Vegas at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino during the highly-anticipated 6th Annual ACM Party for a Cause®.

An update to the ACM Lifting Lives Golf Classic, the inaugural event will provide fans a unique opportunity to take in LIVE performances from the hottest new talent in country music, all while artists compete in a tournament of golf skills. Fans can reserve premium Topgolf bays with stage views, food and beverage, and compete in their own competition to win various prizes, including an artist meet & greet. For non-golfers, general admission tickets are available for fans to hangout and enjoy the show. Performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Following in the legacy of the ACM Lifting Lives Golf Classic, the ACM Lifting Lives Topgolf Tee-Off will raise funds and awareness for the ACM Lifting Lives Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Established in 2007 by former Academy of Country Music and ACM Lifting Lives Board Chair Gayle Holcomb, in honor of her mother, the Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund responds quickly to unforeseen, immediate financial needs of music related organizations and individuals.

The ACM Lifting Lives Topgolf Tee-Off is part of the 6th Annual ACM Party for a Cause® festivities set to take over the Las Vegas Strip April 12-15, 2018 leading up to and immediately following the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards™, Country Music’s Party of the Year®, which will broadcast LIVE from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

TICKET INFORMATION:

ACM PROFESSIONAL MEMBER AND ACM A-LIST MEMBER TICKET ON-SALE: Both can purchase tickets beginning at 10:00 AM (PT) today, Thursday, January 25, 2018 by visiting www.PartyForaCause.com. The pre-sale code will be emailed prior to the on-sale. GENERAL PUBLIC TICKET ON-SALE: Tickets will go on-sale to the general public at 10:00 AM (PT) tomorrow, Friday, January 26, 2018 at www.PartyForaCause.com. Tickets start at $35.

About Charles Kelley

Charles Kelley is one-third of multi-Platinum trio Lady Antebellum, whose empowering call of independence can be found in their latest single “Heart Break,” the title track from their No. one selling sixth studio album. “Heart Break” provides “a bedrock for the entire record” (Paste) as “Scott takes satisfaction in feminine independence” (NPR) with “a touch of darkness and a clever play on words” (Rolling Stone). Before natural disasters struck the Caribbean, the seven-time GRAMMY winners traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico for its colorful Spanish colonial buildings and vibrant culture to provide the backdrop of the track’s music video. Feeling the urgency to continue raising awareness and support for those affected after Hurricane Maria stuck the area, Lady A made a significant donation from LadyAID® to hurricane relief efforts and fans can continue to help by contributing at LadyAID.org. HEART BREAK follows more than 18 million units, nine No. One hits, ACM and “Vocal Group of the Year” trophies three years in a row and countless other honors including seven GRAMMYs, Billboard Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards.  Along with his success as part of Lady Antebellum, Kelley also earned a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Country Duo/Group Performance” for the title track of his solo record THE DRIVER, and has also penned No. one hits recorded by artists including Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. For more information visit www.ladyantebellum.com.

About Darius Rucker

Rucker first attained multi-Platinum status in the music industry as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of GRAMMY award-winning Hootie & the Blowfish. Since re-introducing himself to the world as a country artist, he has released five consecutive chart-topping albums and earned a whole new legion of fans. Rucker’s Platinum-certified debut country album Learn To Live and follow-up album Charleston, SC 1966 produced five No. 1 singles, “Come Back Song,” “This,” “Alright,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” In 2012, he achieved a lifelong dream when he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and won his third career GRAMMY award in 2014 for his 4x Platinum-selling cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel,” off his True Believers album. Southern Style, his fourth studio country album, includes No. 1 single “Homegrown Honey,” co-written by Rucker, label mate Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and Nathan Chapman. His latest album on Capitol Nashville, When Was The Last Time features Rucker’s eighth No. 1 on country radio, “If I Told You.” The album’s second single, “For The First Time,” is currently Top 25 and climbing the country charts.

About Topgolf

Topgolf pioneered a technology to make golf more fun and engaging. It has since emerged as a global sports and entertainment community focused on connecting people in meaningful ways. Today, Topgolf continues to blend technology and entertainment, golfers and non-golfers, children and adults – to create an experience that makes socializing a sport for everyone. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, we believe every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and beverage, moved by music and made possible through community. Every Topgolf venue features dozens of high-tech, climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort, a chef-inspired menu for year-round deliciousness and hundreds of Associates eager to help create the moments that matter. Topgolf is truly everyone’s game, with 40 venues entertaining more than 13 million Guests annually, original content shows, next-gen simulator lounges through Topgolf Swing Suite, the global Topgolf Tour competition, pop-up social experiences like Topgolf Crush, Toptracer technology as seen on TV, and the world’s largest digital golf audience. For more information about Topgolf, including corporate sponsorships, hospitality opportunities or to learn about and view exclusive digital content, please visit topgolf.com.

About ACM Lifting Lives®

ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Generous donations and the support of artists and fans ensure ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.


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SVCF Welcomes New Board Members

Attorney Greta S. Hansen and financial advisor Alan Zafran join board of directors

Press Release – MOUNTAIN VIEW — Silicon Valley Community Foundation today announced the appointment of attorney Greta S. Hansen and financial advisor Alan Zafran to the organization’s board of directors. The appointments were effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“We welcome Greta and Alan to the board and are eager for them to share their expertise with us,” said Samuel Johnson, Jr., chair of SVCF’s board. “We appreciate their leadership and commitment to serving our community.”

Silicon Valley Community Foundation supports a wide array of nonprofit organizations and initiatives in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties, and – through the generosity of its donors – distributes grants to charities across the country and around the world. In partnership with its individual and corporate donors, SVCF is the biggest funder of Bay Area charities and awards more international grants than any other community foundation. In the first 10 years of its history, SVCF awarded $4.3 billion in grants to local, national and global charities.

Greta S. Hansen is the chief assistant county counsel for the County of Santa Clara, where she focuses on litigation, programs, and policies designed to advance the well-being of county residents. Previously, Greta worked for the ACLU of Northern California and as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In 2016, she was awarded the New Leaders Council of Silicon Valley’s Trailblazer of the Year Award. Greta holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a law degree from University of California, Berkeley.

Alan Zafran is a financial advisor to wealthy families and institutional investors, currently serving as a senior managing director and wealth manager at First Republic Investment Management. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, helped build the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch and co-founded Luminous Capital. He was one of Barron’s Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors in 2014 and 2016. He also was a 2012 finalist and a 2010 semi-finalist for the Greater Los Angeles Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

See a complete list of SVCF’s board of directors.


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Cast On Tour Joins Demi Lovato For 20-Show North American Tour

Mental Health Advocate Mike Bayer will Host Intimate Pre-Show Events Featuring Special Guests to Bring Messages of Change and Inspiration

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA (January 24, 2018) – CAST Foundation, the nonprofit 501c3 arm of CAST Centers, today announced its second CAST on Tour, joining Demi Lovato in 20 cities with pre-concert experiences featuring special guests and speakers to discuss change and inspiration to a large number of attending concertgoers. The Grammy®-nominated, multi-platinum singer and songwriter is taking the nation’s premier mental health and wellness advocate on her North American tour starting Monday, February 26th at the Viejas Arena in San Diego.

For each show, concert ticketholders will have the chance to sign up for free, intimate sessions led by Mike Bayer, Founder/CEO of CAST Centers and Chairman of the CAST Foundation. Bayer, a renowned wellness expert with over a decade of experience in mental health, addiction recovery, interventions and personal development coaching, played a critical role in Demi’s treatment and continues to support her in active recovery. Now a part owner of CAST Centers, Demi made the brave decision to be vocal about her recovery, aiming to help as many people as possible through her advocacy.

With CAST on Tour’s mission is to make mental health and addiction recovery mainstream and erasing the stigma around asking for help, each show will feature special guest speakers leading discussions about their personal journeys to achieve their best lives, in addition to group discussions on wellness. Last year’s special guests who shared their stories of experience, strength and hope included Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Phil McIntyre, Bea Miller, Metta World Peace, among others. Further details on speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Bayer and Lovato are also announcing a philanthropic component to this year’s CAST on Tour, which will partner with one mental health/wellness charity in each city, encouraging concertgoers to donate via text message during the concert. Fans can register to CAST on Tour www.castcenters.com/castontour or via email info@castontour.com. People are also encouraged to follow the conversation through #castontour.

“Demi is a both a friend and a business partner who shares our passion for encouraging people to seek help and realize their true potential,” said Bayer. “She’s an inspiration who uses her own personal experiences to engage people in meaningful conversations about mental wellness. It is my hope and passion to bring this conversations of hope and healing mainstream, this tour is a step in that process.”

“Mike and CAST Centers played a vital part in my recovery and I think it’s important to helping start hard but necessary conversations about mental health and addiction recovery. I’m really excited to bring them on tour with me again in hopes to reach and inspire thousands of fans,” said Lovato.

Produced by Live Nation and featuring special guests, multi-platinum hip-hop icon DJ Khaled and Grammy nominated R&B songstress Kehlani, the 20-city CAST on Tour kicks off February 26 in San Diego, CA and wraps March 31 in Tampa, FL. Bayer and Lovato partnered to bring CAST Centers on Tour for the first-time last year when CAST Centers joined Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas on the Honda Civic Tour: Future Now.

CAST ON TOUR / DEMI LOVATO CONCERT DATES:

Date CityVenue
Feb. 26 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena
28 San Jose, CASAP Center
March 2 Inglewood, CAThe Forum
3 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
4 Phoenix, AZ Talking Stick Resort Arena
7 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
9 Rosemont, ILAllstate Arena
10 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
13 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
14 Columbus, OHSchottenstein Center
16Brooklyn, NYBarclays Center
17Montreal, QC Bell Centre
19Toronto, ONAir Canada Centre
21Newark, NJPrudential Center
23Philadelphia, PAWells Fargo Center
24Washington, DCCapital One Arena
26Boston, MA TD Garden
28 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
30 Miami, FLAmerican Airlines Arena
31 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena

About CAST Centers

CAST Centers offers comprehensive mental health and wellness services to help people become their best selves. Founder and CEO Mike Bayer has spent over a decade changing the lives of executives, professionals, and celebrities as a personal development coach. Located in Los Angeles, CAST Centers delivers health and wellness coaching as well as treatment and recovery for addiction and mental health issues. To learn more, visit the website and CAST Centers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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USC Shoah Foundation And Discovery Education Announce Powerful Opportunity For Students And Educators To Inspire Communities Nationwide

Press Release – Silver Spring, Maryland (January 26, 2018) – In an effort to spark a social movement against hatred in all forms, USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today launched the fifth annual IWitness Video Challenge.

Designed to provide actionable ways to promote equality, while also challenging bias and intolerance, the 2018 IWitness Video Challenge encourages students to make a change in communities nationwide. First, students will hear testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. They will then complete a research-based and standards-aligned activity. After being inspired to counter hate, participants will develop a community action project. To be considered for the IWitness Video Challenge, students must document their experience in a video essay for submission.

“USC Shoah Foundation is proud to continue advancing the mission of the IWitness Video Challenge,” said USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education Claudia Wiedeman. “By connecting students to the voices in the Visual History Archive, the IWitness Video Challenge inspires them to act in positive and meaningful ways, and teaches them digital skills that are important for students today.”

Last year’s winners inspired their fellow classmates to celebrate their diverse identities with a project called, “Who Are You? Embracing Identity in Our Community.”

“We want the audience to learn more about themselves, to reflect on who they are and their identities, after watching our video,” said student Yu Jing Chen, one of three students who worked together on the project. “We want them to realize that they are not alone and that they should always fight for an accepting environment.”

Previous winners wrote kind notes to every student in their school, while the first winner documented her determination to stand up for undocumented workers after being moved by testimonies of Holocaust survivors who described their struggles being undocumented immigrants themselves.

Thanks to the continued support from Ford Motor Co., which is sponsoring the event as part of its commitment to innovative educational outreach, the IWitness Video Challenge will award top entries from students, teachers, and schools with scholarships and grants.

The prizes will be distributed as follows:

  • The student who creates the national winning entry will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Second place will receive a $1,000 scholarship; third place, a $500 scholarship.
  • The educator associated with the national winning entry will receive a $1,000 grant to inspire, impact and implement change in their local school.
  • The school or organization associated with the national winning entry will receive a $2,500 grant to implement change in their community.

Launched in 2013, the IWitness Video Challenge was designed around the premise that one person can make a difference. As USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg said at the time of the inaugural launch, “we can use IWitness to show the power of random acts of kindness – the best way to teach empathy is by using the power of example.”

“As an educator, I have observed the positive differences in students’ behavior after partaking in the IWitness Video Challenge,” said Karen Wells from Midland High School in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas. “The contest has been a proven catalyst for change in our community and I plan on encouraging all of my students to submit entries this year.”

“The IWitness Video Challenge empowers youth nationwide to take a stand against hatred in all forms,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Peer-to-peer influence is powerful and we are invested in providing actionable ways for students to promote equality, challenge bias and discuss tolerance. We hope that by participating in the contest, students will be able to view the world through a different lens and recognize the importance of stopping oppression everywhere.”

Submissions for the 2018 IWitness Video Challenge are being accepted now until April 13, 2018. For more information and complete rules, visit IWitness.usc.edu.


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World Jewish Congress Launches Largest Global Holocaust Commemoration Initiative

Preeminent international Jewish organization urges people around the world to join #WeRemember campaign and take to social media to spread the message that Never Again must mean Never Again

Press Release – New York, NY (January 2018) − The World Jewish Congress (WJC), the leading international organization representing more than 100 diverse Jewish communities on six continents, has launched its second annual #WeRemember initiative to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, genocide and xenophobia.

“Around the world today, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and hatred of others continue to rear their ugly heads. We must remember because there are fewer and fewer survivors among us, and within just a few decades, all will have passed. We must remember because ‘never again’ seems to happen again and again,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. “It is now the responsibility of the younger generation to teach their friends about the horrors of hatred, and to spread the message that never again must mean never again.”

As part of the campaign, the WJC is reaching out to millions of people across the globe to photograph themselves holding a #WeRemember sign, and post the image to social media, to help spread the message as widely as possible. More than 250 million people were reached in the 2017 campaign, with participants including heads of state, celebrities and average people from around the world. This year, the WJC hopes to reach 500 million people.

Lauder said: “We launched the inaugural #WeRemember campaign last year with the goal of symbolically reaching six million people as a meaningful way to remember our past while also protecting our future. In today’s digital age, social media is the only tool that can allow us to connect the world together with this message. The initiative far exceeded our expectations and became more than just a campaign. It became a worldwide grassroots movement, of real people and real stories, shared from the heart.”

The campaign will run through International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the end of January, culminating with a live projection of all participant photos, interviews with Holocaust survivors, and messages from influencers from varied backgrounds, professions, ages and religions on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau from January 24-27. Campaign materials will be translated into dozens of languages and posted on the WJC and partner channels throughout the month.

The goal of the inaugural campaign was to ask people around the world to do a simple yet meaningful task that would inspire conversation and help teach a new generation. Through multi-lingual videos and posts, the international community became aware of the campaign and started posting their pictures.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, Senator of New York Charles Schumer, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Bernard-Henri Lévy; unexpected supporters of all religions and backgrounds, including a Rwandan school teacher, an Imam from France, the President of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, and Holocaust survivors themselves were among those who spread the message. Within just a few weeks #WeRemember became the number one trending topic in Germany and other countries around the world.

About World Jewish Congress:

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the leading international organization representing more than 100 diverse Jewish communities on six continents, under the leadership of President Ronald S. Lauder. The #WeRemember initiative, currently in its second year, is the world’s largest Holocaust commemoration event, and is dedicated to spreading awareness of all forms of xenophobia and genocide. Visit WorldJewishCongress.org for more information. Follow on Facebook @WorldJewishCong; Twitter @WorldJewishCong; Instagram @WorldJewishCongress.


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Animal Planet Forms PUPPY BOWL XIV Marketing Partnerships

Press Release – PUPPY BOWL, the cutest competition in sports history, returns to Animal Planet on Feb. 4 for an epic matchup between adoptable puppy players from #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff who go paw to paw and nose to nose to win the CHEWY.COM “Lombarky” PUPPY BOWL XIV trophy. PUPPY BOWL XIV will air simultaneously on both coasts when it premieres Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 PM/ET 12 PM/PT featuring two hours of fuzzy faces, sloppy kisses, incredible interceptions, puppy penalties and hard-won touchdowns. After the pup-tastic game of ear pulls and tail tugs is over, all the PUPPY BOWL puppy players end up as winners when they find their forever homes.

This year, Animal Planet has created marketing partnerships with like minded companies from different categories around a shared love of PUPPY BOWL and to help promote animal adoption.

Those who stay ahead of the trends with an unparalleled selection of chic fashion jewelry from Bauble Bar are in for a real treat this month as Bauble Bar celebrates PUPPY BOWL with two exclusive products: the custom collar and leash line, available starting January 15 on Baublebar.com. Make your pup the most stylish of the pack with this must-have collar and leash collection that donates 15% of all sale proceeds to New York City-based Social Tees Animal rescue.

Animal Planet and Grounds & Hounds developed a custom PUPPY BOWL coffee blend for animal enthusiasts everywhere which is the perfect brew for all coffee lovers to enjoy on winter mornings with their furry best friends. By blending the best beans from Guatemala and Papua New Guinea, Grounds & Hounds has created their most aromatic and silky smooth Medium Roast blend to date just for PUPPY BOWL. This limited blend release is available at GroundsandHounds.com with 30% of all proceeds donated to help fund the transfer of shelters animals to foster homes, an important step in the process of helping animals in need find their forever homes.

With Puppy Bowl comes the mission of rescue. Animal Planet is working with longtime partner ASPCA, a national leader in the areas of rescue, adoption and welfare, to help ASPCA affiliated shelters receive an official PUPPY BOWL Party Kit. Among other items, the PUPPY BOWL Party kit includes a four-foot puppy standee, streamers, balloons and coozies to help ASPCA affiliated shelters nationwide celebrate PUPPY BOWL via the ASPCA Pro System.

Slobbr, an app that effortlessly connects dog-people with dog-friendly places, is gearing up for the big game with a PUPPY BOWL + Slobbr partnership that includes a special sweepstakes to encourage app users everywhere to create Instagram and Facebook posts that will not only help support Slobbr’s Kibble Donation program feed dogs in need, but automatically registers app users in a contest to win Slobbr and Puppy Bowl XIV giveaways as well as the opportunity to have their furry best friend’s picture appear on the Slobbr landing page for one month!

In partnership with Tinder, one of the world’s most popular apps for meeting new people, and Pledgeling, a platform that powers impact by connecting brands and consumers to causes around the world, PUPPY BOWL players will make their first-ever appearance on the dating app with a puppy dating profile card that will encourage those who swipe right on the PUPPY BOWL pup player to donate to the ASPCA to help shelter pets. The Tinder PUPPY BOWL puppy profile card will be available on the Tinder app from January 22 to February 4. Fans can also support the ASPCA by texting PUPPY to 707070.

Georgetown Cupcake, the destination for designer cupcakes made from the finest ingredients, has created adorable custom PUPPY BOWL cupcakes which will be available in all Georgetown Cupcake locations across the U.S. to help celebrate PUPPY BOWL. Please visit georgetowncupcake.com for all store locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston and Bethesda, MD.

Southwest customers this month will have access to the Animal Planet Puppy Bowl channel through the on-demand TV series via the Southwest entertainment portal. The channel will offer a countdown to PUPPY BOWL with a special pre-game episode, a five-minute “sneak peek” of Animal Planet’s first-ever Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl, which airs on Animal Planet on Sat. Feb. 3 at 8 PM, and a library of previous PUPPY BOWL games on all Wi-Fi enabled planes. In addition to archived PUPPY BOWL content, Southwest will celebrate PUPPY BOWL with custom content featuring puppies traveling PUPPY BOWL XIV. Southwest is the nation’s largest domestic air carrier dedicated to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.

For more information on Animal Planet’s PUPPY BOWL marketing partnerships, please visit animalplanet.com/partners

About Animal Planet

Animal Planet, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the network of hit franchise series and special programming dedicated to animals and the natural world that includes RIVER MONSTERS, DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET, PIT BULLS & PAROLEES, TANKED, TREEHOUSE MASTERS, THE VET LIFE and PUPPY BOWL, the largest non-sports TV event on Super Bowl Sunday. Animal Planet is the premiere TV, digital and social community for all things animal, providing immersive, engaging, high-quality content across all Animal Planet platforms including: Animal Planet television network, available in more than 90 million homes in the U.S., that is complimented with a deep Video On Demand offering; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for animal lovers and pet owners; the Animal Planet Go app that allows viewers to catch up on full episodes of their favorite shows anytime anywhere; Animal Planet L!VE, the go-to digital destination for round-the-clock, unfiltered access via live cameras around the globe in a variety of animal habitats; Animal Planet Social including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via @AnimalPlanet and on Snapchat as AnimalPlanetTV.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and captivates superfans around the globe with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, lifestyle, sports and kids content brands including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. Available in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery’s programming reaches 3 billion cumulative viewers, who together consume 54 billion hours of Discovery content each year. Discovery’s offering extends beyond traditional TV to all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio and Discovery Kids Play; over-the-top streaming services such as Eurosport Player; digital-first and social video from Group Nine Media; and virtual reality storytelling through Discovery VR. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.


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